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Oestrogen Dominance: Who is Affected?

Oestrogen Dominance: Who is Affected?

Oestrogen dominance is more common than you might think. And it’s not just women who are affected – it’s increasingly common amongst men too.  And whilst oestrogen dominance is affecting more and more people by the day, the effects are increasingly widespread too.  Symptoms can range from mood swings and weight gain to anxiety, fertility issues and serious chronic disease.  To put it mildly, oestrogen dominance is bad news!  Read on to find out who’s affected and what you can do about it. 

Overweight & obesity = increased oestrogen

Oestrogen dominance occurs when there is an excess of oestrogen in relation to progesterone or testosterone.  This imbalance is caused by a number of factors, and the causes can differ between men and women, but the level of exposure to oestrogens appears to be on the rise, and this is due to a number of factors, chief among them being increases in overweight and obesity and, it’s thought, the impact of environmental oestrogens.  Men naturally produce smaller quantities of oestrogens than women.  However, they are equally prone to overweight and obesity, and exposed to the same level of environmental oestrogens too. It is very possible that everyone suffers a little from excess oestrogen, and for many men and women it can cause serious problems.

Living in a sea of oestrogen

Unfortunately, we live in an age where oestrogens are everywhere.  Our bodies make them, we take them in the form of medications, and we eat, drink and breathe them into the body.  Oestrogen-like compounds are found in food, air and water, plastic residues, pesticides, industrial waste products, exhaust fumes, soap products, carpeting, furniture and much more. A high-fat, high-dairy and low fibre diet also increases the amount of oestrogen in the body, and so does alcohol, excess insulin,  being overweight or obese, the contraceptive pill and HRT. You would literally have to live in a bubble to escape the onslaught of everyday oestrogens!

When oestrogen becomes imbalanced

Imbalanced oestrogen can cause a whole host of knock on effects in the body, ranging from the mildly irritating to the debilitating. What’s even more worrying is that over time, increased exposure to oestrogen can significantly increase your risk of chronic disease. Signs of oestrogen dominance in women are fairly well-documented, but the story is much less clear for men. As most men age, the level of oestrogen, oestrogen look-alikes and xenoestrogen toxins in their bodies rises. This assault is responsible for a variety of ailments.

If any of your patients are displaying signs and symptoms such as those listed below, then maybe you should consider whether excess oestrogen is affecting them:  

 

Men

 

✓  Difficulty putting on muscle

✓  Low libido

✓  Fatigue

✓  Headaches/migraines

✓  Foggy thinking

✓  Excess fat and redistribution of fat

✓  Breast growth (“man boobs")

✓  Balding

✓  Reduced body hair

✓  Depression

✓  Anxiety

✓  Hypoglycemia

✓  Sleep problems

✓  Difficulty with urination,

✓  Increased frequency of urination

✓  Prostate enlargement

✓  Erectile dysfunction

✓  Fertility issues / low sperm count

 

Women

 

✓ Mood swings

✓ Depression

✓ Anxiety

✓ Low energy

✓ Foggy thinking

✓ Dry eyes

✓ Disrupted periods

✓ Low energy

✓ Hypoglycemia

✓ Weight gain

✓  Low libido

✓ PMS

✓  Hair loss

✓ Headaches/migraines

✓ Weak bladder control

✓ Irregular menstrual periods

✓ Sleep problems

✓  Fibroids

✓ Endometriosis

✓ Fibrocystic or painful breasts

✓  Cervical dysplasia

✓ Systemic lupus erythematosis

✓ Fertility issues

✓ Family history of breast cancer


How is your body handling oestrogen?

The way the body handles oestrogen has a significant impact on its ultimate biologic effects and can contribute significantly to increased levels in the body.  The good news is that healthy oestrogen metabolism relies on essential nutrients to support hydroxylation, methylation, glucuronidation and sulphation pathways to safely process and eliminate oestrogen from the body.  So, whilst it’s not always possible to control exposure to oestrogen, you can support the way the body handles oestrogen through these important processes simply by optimising intake of the key nutrients required.

How you can support a healthy oestrogen balance naturally…

The only way to deal with all of this excess is to make sure your body has an optimal supply of all the nutrients needed to safely process and eliminate them from the body.  The good news is that there are numerous compounds and botanicals, which have been shown to help significantly, including:

• Calcium-d-glucarate – Beta-glucuronidase is an enzyme which contributes to increased circulation of oestrogens.  Calcium-d-glucarate can help to inhibit this enzyme and support healthy excretion of oestrogen before it can become reabsorbed.
• Broccoli extract providing di-indolylmethane (DIM) – Di-indolylmethane (DIM) is a beneficial phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli.  DIM, derived from indole-3-carbinol (I3C), is the most active and important of the dietary indoles and is known to significantly support healthy oestrogen metabolism.
 Phytoestrogens from flaxseed and kudzu – Phytoestrogens are plant compounds which are similar in shape to the oestrogen molecule and can bind to oestrogen receptors.  They are much weaker than endogenous oestrogens and may help to support a healthy balance.
• Vitamin E – Low vitamin E has been associated with elevated oestrogen.  Restoring optimal levels of this nutrient is key for supporting healthy oestrogen balance.
• Magnesium – An essential co-factor for the key oestrogen processing pathways and is typically lacking in the Western diet.  Supplementation is often necessary to bring levels back into a healthy balance.
• B Vitamins, N-Acetyl-l-Cysteine & Glycine – Important co-factors for the enzymes involved in oestrogen processing
L- Glutathione – Often referred to as the master antioxidant, glutathione supports the neutralization of potentially harmful free radicals, which can contribute to oestrogen overload.

Need more information?

If you’d like to know any more about how you can naturally support balanced oestrogen levels, then call our team of dedicated nutritionists who will be happy to help with any queries.  You can reach them on 0800 212742 (option 3) or email nutrition@nutri.co.uk